The white mark allowed for a manual RPM check on this big steel flywheel on the ground floor. Note how dark the bottom level of the mills is—that’s because all of the equipment is blocking out the light.
Sunset came fast, and when the good light died inside the Industrial Loft, I walked around the back to find the whole complex glowing.
Vents in the boards over the windows helps prevent mold and animals from getting too crazy inside.
On the left is the 1907 elevator section and its 1926 expansion is on the right. Interesting how the century-old silos seem to be faring better. Windows provided light to the underground conveyor tunnels, which were used to bring grain out of the silos by gravity.
Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.
The metallic arms of the missile erector, which would stand rockets over the blast pit in the launch position. Medium Format film–cheap but excellent Fomapan 100 in a Pentax 67.
Before developers saw to cut and cut the flour mills inside Pillsbury, they stood at the ready beside various purposeful chutes the traversed the floors of between sorters. These machines were belt-driven by the power of Pillsbury’s Mississippi headraces and turbines, the force of which notoriously shook the building’s foundations themselves. The wheels would change the grade of the flour, or the size of the dust produced from crushing the kernels.
The workshop and parts room was full of light and meticulously sorted bolts, nuts, washers, gaskets, and all sorts of specialty hardware.
My favorite shot from the trip. Later in its life, the plant was converted to burn its own byproducts, but it seems this was designed as a coal hopper.
At the end of a conveyor belt and poised over a loading station, it’s easy to image the tinny sound of chicken feed sliding across the metal. Like sand on the old-fashioned stainless steel playground slides.